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PDS rice smuggled at Rs 17-18 a kg

Press Trust of India  |  Theni 

The sources said in the Idukki district of Kerala, some rice millers or wholesale merchants buy the "Two-rupee" PDS rice for Rs.8.50per kg and smuggle them from various districts including Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Virudhunagar, Kanyakumari, Sivaganga, Dindigul, via Cumbum and Kumili,and Bodimettu in this district.

The ration rice is stored in a godown in the border village of Kumuli in Kerala where Tamil Nadu officials could not conduct any raid.

Ealier the contraband rice was smuggled by head load, cycle load, tricycles and mini autorickshaws.

The wholesalers had appointed agents to buy the ration rice, from the ration shops and agents were paid Rs.One per kg as commission, said Namperumal, an agent. He said the rice was stored in two or three go-downs in Kumuli where processing was done before packing in cloth bags of 75-kg and 50-kg and sold through retail shops.

The revenue officials said that ration rice was being brought from different districts and they had no access to the go-downs situated in Kerala.

First Published: Mon, May 05 2008. 14:39 IST